It shouldn't come as any surprise that here at Colapz, where we design products to save you space and make living a little easier, we like efficiency. Making buckets, watering cans and liquid carriers that fold away to save you space lets you consider other ways that can make the gardener more efficient and time, and money, are huge factors for gardeners. Those of us who like to be thrifty should embrace September for what it is, a chance to spend time investing in our garden that will reap dividends in the future. It can be tempting to see the start of Autumn as a chance to wind down in the garden; the summer bloom is starting to ebb, the planning time to protect plants from winter frost hasn't begun just yet. However, you can lay the groundwork for next summer right now, and do it far cheaper than you would in Spring. Plan next year's garden Do you know what plants you want in your garden next summer? Don't wait until Spring, buy them now from a nursery and they'll be far cheaper than they would be in a few months' time. Check the roots to make sure they'll still take and see if they need any mesh or protection from frost. There's still a few weeks of sunshine and rain so you can still plant and they need to be in the ground six weeks before the first frost. Alternatively take this opportunity to divide your spring perennials, like peonies and lilies. It's worth getting together with your friends and seeing if they have any plants you want and you them. It saves money and means you can divide plants and donate to each other with no more cost than a cup of tea when they pop around! Prepare your soil The better the quality of your soil, the better your plant growth will be next year. Use this autumn to fertilize your soil, focusing on products that promote root growth. This will make your plants stronger and healthier, as all the hard work is being done under the surface in winter. Buy bulbs It's hard to imagine to joy of those first spring bulbs coming through the soil after the months of cold winter as when we look around us right now we still have the vibrancy and colour of summer. But we know it's coming. Offset that winter gloom by planning for spring. Bulbs are cheap right now so buy daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Plant them in pots or your border and wait for them to pop up in the spring. Have a tidy You can't get it right all the time! There might be plants you put in place this spring that hasn't quite worked out. This is the time to move them. Any perennials that have become too crowded can be split and replanted. Don't cut plants back too much in autumn, especially perennials. Many insects will use their leaves for warmth and shade in the winter. Tidy your borders and lay some compost to let the worms ready your soil for spring. Clean your garden equipment If you have Colapz equipment you've used all summer, along with your shears, spades, forks and what have you, now is the time to clean and protect them for the winter. Give them a wash, use linseed oil to protect metal and sharpen secateurs ready for spring. It'll save you having to buy new equipment in the spring!